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Echo Show 15: Picture frame smart speaker is available to pre-order

Amazon's picture frame smart speaker is finally available to buy in the UK

UPDATE: The Echo Show 15 was the most interesting product unveiled at Amazon’s Fall hardware event this year but it has taken the retail giant a couple of months to bring the product to market. As of now, however, it’s possible to pre-order the picture frame smart speaker, with units shipping from 9 December – just in time for Christmas. We’ll have a review for you just as soon as Amazon sends across a sample to test. In the meantime, our original news story from the event continues below:

Amazon has taken the wraps off its latest smart speaker at its annual autumn hardware event: the Echo Show 15.

Designed to look like a photo frame, complete with a thick bezel and 5MP video camera in the top-left corner, the Echo Show 15 can be wall-mounted and comes with a 15.6in, 1080p display at its heart.

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That’s the biggest screen on any Echo device to date, but the display isn’t the only new thing about the Echo Show 15. Amazon has also taken the opportunity to revamp its smart screen UI, allowing users to choose from a series of “Alexa Widgets” to add to the home screen.

These widgets include a household shared calendar widget, sticky notes, a to-do list and a grouping of your most-used smart devices for quick access. It can also show a picture-in-picture view of your video doorbell or security camera video feeds.

Hopefully, it’s an improvement on the limited UI of existing Echo Show speakers like the Echo Show 10, 8 and 5 because that’s been a thorn in the side of the firm’s existing smart displays up until this point.

Elsewhere, the Echo Show 15 comes with the new AZ2 ‘Neural Edge’ processor, which enables a number of new features. First up, there’s Visual ID, a feature that recognises you as you walk in front of the speaker and personalises onscreen content appropriately.

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Amazon says all the processing for Visual ID takes place on the device itself and isn’t uploaded to the cloud or shared with other devices.

Amazon is also bringing a feature to Echo Show 15 that lets you teach Alexa to detect certain types of sounds and perform a predetermined action.

Naturally, you’ll also be able to watch various streaming video services on the device and, with the larger screen, Amazon says the Echo Show 15 is “like a kitchen TV but much smarter”.

The Echo Show 15 will cost £240 when it’s eventually released but Amazon hasn’t yet announced a date yet. As soon as details are confirmed – we’d imagine that will be before Christmas – we’ll bring you more details and, eventually, the full review.

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